Every trainer recommends pullups. But ask what kind, and the arguments start. There are those who believe you should do only dead-hang pullups, to work the lats and arms. Then there are those (especially CrossFitters) who use kipping pullups—not to isolate muscles, but to accomplish more work in less time, turning pullups into a conditioning tool. But the debate is pointless: There’s a place for each technique—the right tool for the right job. To that end, keep both tools, and add a third that’s even more intense: the butterfly pullup, which moves the body in an elliptical pattern so you can rapidly string together reps. To do it:
1) Grab the bar with a wide grip and “hollow out,” tightening your quads, abs, and glutes.
2) Pull your body up and back in an arc.
3) Powerfully kick your legs toward the ground while pulling up with your lats and arms.
4) Finish with your chin over the bar. As you fall back down, immediately kick your legs forward to start the next rep.
Metabolic Conditioning WOD
HOW TO DO IT: Complete five total rounds. Keep rest periods as short as possible, and record your time for future reference.
Barbell Clean 5
Butterfly Pullup 15
Nate Forster is a CrossFit gym owner and the co-owner of RhinoCo Fitness. rhinocofitness.com